An unusual, whimsical collection of 12 short prayers offers an imaginative approach with a patterned text and creative responses from the children narrating the prayers.
Each prayer follows a similar pattern, describing a particular circumstance or challenge familiar to young children (“if life is stormy”), followed by the child narrator’s imagined action (“I imagine I’m a tree, tossed and tumbled in the wind”). In alternating spreads, there is also a comforting response from God (“you show me how my roots are getting stronger”). This particular prayer is illustrated with a cutaway view of a tree’s roots extending deep into the ground, providing extensive support for the tree even though we can’t see it from our perspective. Throughout the collection, the first-person imagined personifications and responses from God are surprisingly sophisticated in their symbolism and imagery, while still being intellectually accessible to the intended audience. Moriuchi’s pleasing collage illustrations of chubby-cheeked children incorporate textured papers, fabrics and snippets of print along with painted elements. Creative type placement provides additional motion within the illustrations, with flowing text indicating the movement of wind or water.
The light, soothing atmosphere created by the well-matched prayers and illustrations is deceptively simple, effectively conveying powerful images and a strong sense of comfort. (Picture book/religion. 3-6)